How Superstorm Sandy is Changing How We Deal with Mold

November 1, 2013 1:22 pm

It should come as no surprise that Superstorm Sandy has caused much change, especially when it comes to how Mold is handled on both the local and federal level. What may come as a surprise is that there is currently no federal or local legislation that regulates those who work to eliminate the problems caused by mold. There are no required certifications, licensing or training needed to deal with this environmental hazard.  Unfortunately, too many Hurricane Sandy impacted families had untrained, unprofessional companies improperly perform mold remediation and demolition work and now have mold growing back.

With the struggles of Superstorm Sandy recovery as a backdrop, on March 21, 2013 the NJ Assembly approved a Bill that would establish mold exposure limits and standards in residential buildings and procedures for inspection, identification and evaluation of mold.

Until that bill becomes a law homeowners dealing with a mold or water intrusion event must do their own due diligence before hiring a mold remediation company. Make sure the company you hire is ACAC certified, has proper liability insurance and mold coverage, and has a proven track record of successful projects. No company can guarantee, warranted or assure you that mold will not grow back. Instead, what a Mold contractor could say is, “We can restore your property back to a pre-loss condition.”

While it may take months or even years to pass that law, New Jersey has taken some immediate action to try to protect and inform its residents. On April 15, 2013, The NJ Department of Health released its “Mold Guidelines for New Jersey Residents” to help residence in their Superstorm Sandy recovery. Some of the important factors this guide discusses include, understanding why mold grows, health concerns, what to do to correct the problem and tips for hiring a consultant or remediation contractor.

As the guide details, Mold is a part of nature and is found all throughout our natural and indoor environments. Mold is an allergen. Those who are allergic can experience symptoms including respiratory problems, sneezing and coughing, while others may experience no symptoms. With food sources, like wood and sheet rock abundant, mold needs only moisture to grow. Molds digest and damage the building materials they grow on, potentially threatening the structure and stability of the building. This is why it’s important to deal with a mold issue sooner rather than later.

Perhaps one of the greatest frustrations to homeowners dealing with a mold issue is spend a large amount of money to fix the issue, only to find out a few months later, that the mold remediation job was not done correctly and mold has returned.